For the first time, I didn’t know what to do. All my life I had always done everything right, at least as best as I could. I went to high school, university, graduated with a first class, top of my class. I didn’t do drugs or cybercrime – you know, the normal trend for a normal Nigerian youth. Yet I still do not understand how the events of my life got me here.
It all started one evening. I was resting on Bode’s couch in his apartment after soaking my usual garri and groundnut( groundnut I borrowed from Seyi in the next flat). It was a really hectic day at work, one of those days I felt like I hated my life, and my job. Because regardless of my top grades from university and all the several other certifications I had, it was the best opportunity this country could offer me. A job that came with a lot of work all week and an infinitesimal salary – #20,000 per month. Imagine!. I could count with my fingers and toes the number of friends I had who were into yahoo yahoo and were making at least 3times of my salary per hour!
Getting an apartment in the area I worked(-an apartment that suited me as a first class graduate of one of the most prestigious universities in Nigeria) cost me #40,000 per month so that explained why I was resting on Bode’s couch, in Bode’s apartment..because I couldn’t afford an apartment of my own. God, I hate this country!
While I was wallowing in my self-pity(a little bit contemplating suicide) and thinking of ways to make ends meet, I heard a rapt knock on the door.
“Who could that be?” I thought. It was late already and I wasn’t expecting anyone, Bode had travelled for the weekend. I hurried to the door and opened it, a bit skeptical (perhaps it was that lousy landlord again).
At the threshold of the door stood one of the most attractive men I had ever seen(I’m not gay, I had to say that to show you how true this was). He looked like Leonardo DiCaprio, except he had a shiny,smooth, fresh caramel skin. He wore a very expensive suit and very shiny shoes. He was holding a briefcase in one hand and a paper clipboard & a pen in another hand.
“Who is this man?” I thought. Perhaps he was from one of those oil companies I had applied to a while ago. But it wasn’t conventional for them to make home visits.
“Sorry Sir, wh..who are you looking for?” I asked in a shaky voice.
“Hi, my name is Lucy. I’m here to talk to you about a business proposal. May I come in?” He spoke.
His voice felt like a mixture of fire and ice that not only went through my auditory nerves but also whispered into my soul. I felt that the voice, not the man, was able to solve all my problems, all I had to do was ask. I even forgot to ask about the nature of this proposal and why he had a funny name. All I could say was:
“OK Sir. Come in, have a seat”
He sat on Bode’s couch while I sat on a chair opposite.
“I have a lot of places to be today, so I’m going to cut to the chase. I have an offer to make that I believe you can’t refuse”.
His voice….it was angelic, like I was being serenaded by sirens. In truth, I wanted to say yes without even hearing the offer…
“Go on sir” – I managed to say.
” OK, here it goes. I understand your plight and your economic situation and I’m here to make all your troubles go away. I’m going to give you two things: a mansion and a car”
“Wow sir, I’m really honoured by this offer. Thank you. But if my knowledge of deals and offers are right, there’s got to be a catch to this, something I’m suppose to give in return?”
“Yes, you’re right. You have always been very smart. That’s why you’re one of the first people I came to with the deal. So here’s the catch. First is, you cannot sell the mansion and the car”
“I don’t think I would ever consider that, considering my current situation”, I quickly retorted.
“Second, you have to send half of your salary to this account number at the end of every month…”
He passed me piece of paper that contained a 10digit bank number written in very legible and attractive hand writing. It was a Zenith Bank account.
“OK sir, is that all?” I asked grinning, ready to sign any papers. Mehn!, I’m getting a mansion and a car for just #10,000naira per month!
“Yes, that’s about it. But I think I need to explain that salary bit a little more. Your monthly payment of the fees is a variable that depends on your monthly salary. If your salary, for instance increases to #100,000, you would be sending #50,000 per month. #200,000, you would send #100,000…its more or less like we own half of your soul, hehehe”. He chuckled.
And funny enough, I chuckled along with him. Great guy, he has a nice sense of humor. He can have half of my soul jare, abi how much is my soul worth sef?.
“Alright, I’m ready to sign it sir”
He passed me the paper clipboard and the pen and I signed away. He collected the clipboard and gave me two keys, one for the house and the other for the car. He also gave me a piece of paper that contained the address of the mansion and where I could find the car.
“It was nice doing business with you. And please, try to adhere to the previous instructions because if you do not do so, there would be dire consequences”
As the words “consequences” rolled from his tongue, I heard a mighty thunder rumble outside. When did it start raining I wondered?
And at that moment, the NEPA people decides to do what they were best at, take the light. Although they brought it back after a few seconds. By the time the light was restored, the nice young looking Leonardo DiCaprio man was gone.
Today makes exactly 7years since I had the encounter with Lucy, the strange man that made me the strange deal. I still live in his mansion and drive the car he gave me. I have a family now, 2 sons and one daughter. We all live in the mansion together.
Over the years, I have risen in status and have gotten a higher position at work. I earn #5million naira monthly. I also still send half of my salary to the account number Lucy gave me. So far, I have sent 500million naira.
There was a time I was a bit late in my payment and I fell sick for several weeks. The sickness only went when I sent the money to the account. That’s one of the reasons I still adhere to the instructions.
One other reason which I believe is the reason I would continue to send this money for the rest of my life occurred to me when I wanted to make my first payment. I opened my bank app to transfer the money to the account number given to me. After specifying the account number and bank type, I checked to verify the account name. Want to guess the name I saw?